Coolsculpt, liposuction, or other for abdomen/love handles? (photos)

I'm 45, 5'3", stable weight of 115 lbs, and have 3 kids. I would appreciate your thoughts on which procedure would produce the best-looking outcome. Although I would rather not spend unnecessary money or have unnecessary downtime, cost/downtime are somewhat less of a factor than final appearance. (If you have any thoughts about whether I'd likely need one or more than one round of Coolsculpt, I'd appreciate those insights.)

Doctor Answers 8


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Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

CoolSculpting for the abdomen

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Depending on whether your abdominal laxity is mostly due to fat between your skin and muscle, or whether it is from muscle weakness after multiple pregnancies, will determine whether CoolSculpting would be right for you. The way you show the pinching of fat seems to indicate you would be an ideal candidate for CoolSculpting and the number of repeat treatments will depend largely on how thin you want to get the areas involved. Some people are happy with one treatment per area, and some people treat the same areas twice to get maximum results. It's really up to you and what appearance will make you happy. Good luck!

Deborah Pan, MD
New Haven Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Coolsculpting for Abdomen and Love Handles

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Coolsculpting is an amazing procedure for the abdomen and love handles. I would highly recommend it to you and we have had fantastic results with this procedure.  Please consult an expert in Coolsculpting for the best results.  Best, Dr. Green

CoolSculpting for the abdomen - a great option

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CoolSculpting is a safe, effective way to decrease abdominal fat volume.   It can be used to treat several different areas on the body, but it is most effective in treating fat on the abdomen.  If you want to avoid an invasive procedure, CoolSculpting might be a good option for you.  In one of the largest studies done for CoolSculpting, patients experienced up to 23% reduction in abdominal fat thickness three months after the procedure.  I recommend consulting with a cosmetic dermatologist to establish expectations of treatment and to see what your best options would be.

Jill C. Fichtel, MD
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Which abdominal sculpting procedure would be best for me?

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Although each patient is different, CoolSculpting works best if you don't have a lot of excess skin and if your skin still has a lot of elasticity left.  Women who have had children often have lost the elasticity in the skin of the lower abdomen.  This makes a tummy tuck more effective because excess skin is removed along with the excess fat.  If the abdominal wall has been stretched out, a tummy tuck can tighten the wall and muscles.  CoolSculpting will not effect the muscle wall under the fat.  However, this is a trade off for a longer recovery and scarring of the lower abdomen and around the belly button. An exam is necessary to determine which would be better.  I recommend that if you are considering surgery as an option, you should go to a plastic surgeon who offers both procedures to help determine which would be best for you. 

Dana Coberly, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

CoolSculpt vs Lipo for love handles

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If you are looking for a non-surgical method of fat reduction, then CoolSculpting is the way to go.  Patients find treatment with the new CoolAdvantage applicator to be relatively comfortable. There are no needles or cannulas with CoolSculpting, and there is essentially no downtime with CoolSculpting.  Most patients undergo two treatments to their areas of concern.  With liposuction, it may be only one procedure, but since it is a surgical procedure using cannulas, you would need to change bandages and contend with drainage.  You would also need to wear a compression garment for several weeks and many patients experience several days of mild-moderate pain and limited activity after liposuction. 

Pricing for CoolSculpting is set by the manufacturer, so cost is about the same regardless of who performs the treatments. In contrast, the cost of liposuction varies with the physician performing the procedure, with additional charge for operating room costs in some cases.
I hope this helps.

Tina B. West, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

VASER Hi Definition Liposuction / Body Contouring / Tummy tuck / Mommy Makeover VERSUS Non Invasive

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I recommend VASER liposuction with tummy tuck for best outcome. VASER can sculpt and contour the body, giving you definition and results can be seen immediately. 4D HI DEFINITION in combination with ultrasound/RF treatments and fat grafting will help with fat removal, contouring, skin tightening and toning.  If you want a small improvement, coolsculpting or vaniquish can help. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Coolsculpt, liposuction, or other for abdomen/love handles?

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Thank you for your question. It is difficult to tell from your photos. I would recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation. This way, you can explain your concerns, learn more about the procedure, and determine if you are a candidate. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.